Anywhere The Heart Goes – 2

Anywhere The Heart Goes – 2

Richard was playing tennis with another seminarian, James, while Maya and Simon were seated at the benches watching their kuya Ricky.

Since Richard took care of her a few days ago, Maya and her cousin Simon became closer to him. They tag along whenever they see their kuya Ricky. Ricky also enjoyed having the kids around.

Whenever he goes out to assist Father Santi  as the priest visits various parishes, Ricky would always bring pasalubongs for the kids, be it candy, cookies, books or toys.

“Magaling na ba si kuya Ricky magplay ng tennis?” He asked them as he stopped to rest and drink water.

Maya immediately gave him the towel she was holding.

She wasn’t instructed to do so but little Maya took the initiative to watch over her kuya Richard’s water bottle and towel which he left on top of the table at the side of the tennis court.

He thanked the little girl for the towel then smiled at her.

“Hindi po kayo masyadong magaling Kuya Ricky. Mas magaling si Kuya James. Ang dami pong balls na pinulot ni Simon nung kayo po yun naghihit ng ball. ” Maya replied.

“O sabi na sa’yo bro mas magaling ako. Yun bata na ang nagsabi nyan.” James who already got used to seeing the kids around was actually amused that the two were so serious in watching them.

Maya even has a small notebook with her and she’s been listing the hits and misses of the  players. Ricky was just laughing at the kids.

“Akala ko ba Maya kakampi ka ni Kuya Richard. Ikaw talaga!” He then ruffled Maya’s hair which annoyed the little girl and she gave him her sharp stare which made Ricky laugh all the more.

===================

The other fire victims already returned to their barangay. The local government had provided the victims with housing materials which they used to build their houses again.

Teresita dela Rosa and the kids, however, were offered a permanent shelter in the seminary by Father Santi. Being a single mom, raising two very young kids, Father Santi was concerned on who gets to watch the kids when Teresita goes out to work. After the fire that happened, Father Santi took it upon himself to look after the welfare of Teresita and the kids. Being an employee of their seminary, Teresita dela Rosa is actually his responsibility.

Father Santi also gave scholarships to the kids and appealed to  the nuns of the catholic school beside the seminary to accommodate Maya and Simon even when the classes have already started. The kids’ former school was the public school near their barangay which is a little bit far from the seminary and it will be inconvenient for Aling Teresita and the kids to still be going to the said public school.

==================

“Maya kumusta ang school? Are you enjoying your new school?” Ricky sat in front of Maya who was answering her homework at the table by the garden.

“Yes po kuya Ricky. Mababait po yun mga classmates and teachers ko and may mga friends na din po ako. Si Simon din marami na rin friends.

“That’s good to hear. Study well okay and always be a good daughter to your mom.”

“Yes po. I want to get good grades po and when I finish school I will work hard para di na mahirapan si nanay.” The little girl said with conviction and her innocent face is filled with hopes and dreams.

“Very good Maya. Kuya Ricky will be very happy if you will do that. Alam ko rin na kayang kaya mo.”

“Oo naman po. Magaling ata to.”

He laughed, amused by this little girl who seemed to be so positive and who never fails to make him smile.

“Promise yan ha!”

“Oo naman po!”

====================

Richard became busy with his classes as well as his missionary work. He was often assigned to assist the priests on remote barangays during his school break.

Since his parents were based in China and he had no other family left with him in the Philippines, the seminary and the various parishes where he is assigned as assistant to the priests became his home.

==============

Three years had passed and Maya is now 11 years old and a grade 6 student. She’s been topping her classes and her aim was to be the class valedictorian because she knows that she would be given a full scholarship including allowance if she graduates as one.

She’s been so focused on her goal and her mother was so proud of her. Even Father Santi supported her and Simon in all their school needs. Like Maya, her cousin Simon was also excelling in school and also in basketball. He was a part of the kiddie varsity.

Richard Lim on the other hand, already finished his college degree in theology and will now be pursuing his further studies and his priesthood in one of the seminaries in Tagaytay where everyone goes to.

He will be leaving San Nicolas Seminary in a week’s time.

It will be sad for him for he practically grew up under Father Santi’s care. Almost everything he knows was taught by the loving priest.

Richard spent his elementary and high school at the catholic school where Maya and Simon also attended classes. He pursued his college degree at the seminary.

He could easily pursue a career out of priesthood but he  made a promise to his late grandfather. He promised him that he will be a priest.

Richard grew up with his lolo who spent his entire life at the simple town of San Nicolas.

He was a Chinese merchant who married a local beauty and was blessed with a son, Roberto Lim.

Roberto Lim met Esmeralda at work. They got married and had Richard.

Both his parents needed to leave to work abroad and Richard was left with his grandfather. His lolo was the one who entrusted Richard to Father Santi.

“Kuya Ricky dadalaw po kayo palagi ha!” Maya said with a sad face.

“Hindi ko sure Maya kasi bawal na kaming masyadong lumabas doon but when we get to have our vacation, ikaw muna ang bibisitahin ko.”

“Promise yan ha! Mamaya hindi mo naman tutuparin.”

“Did I ever fail to keep my promises to you?”

“Hindi. Pero there’s always a first time. Baka yan ang unang promise na hindi mo tutuparin.” She countered.

“Kulit mo talaga. You could be a very good lawyer. Hindi ako mananalo sa’yo.” Richard joked.

“Bakit ba kasi hindi magpatayo so Father Santi ng school kaparehas ng school mo dito? Ang daming vacant lots di ba Kuya Ricky?”

“Sabihin mo kaya yan kay Father Santi.” Richard jokingly suggested.

“Ay ayoko nga Kuya Ricky. Isumbong pa ako nun kay Nanay. Mamaya nyan mabubusog na naman ako ng sermon ni Nanay. Grabe pa naman yun kung magsermon – mula umaga hanggang gabi. Dinaig pa yun pagsermon ni Father Santi sa mass.”

“Mas lagot ka if they hear what you’ve been saying.”

Both of them were laughing.

Then Maya again had the sad look on her face when their laughter died down.

“Pero seryoso Kuya Ricky, malulungkot ako kapag umals ka na. Wala na tuloy tutulong sa’kin sa Math assignments ko.”

“Ano ka ba! You can do very well on your own. Basta don’t forget your promise to get good grades and be the class valedictorian okay?”

“Oo naman po. Promise ko yan kay nanay, kay Father Santi at sa inyo kuya Ricky. Gagawin ko yan para sa inyong tatlo.”

“Maya do it for yourself. It’s good to make your nanay and kami ni Father Santi the reason why you want to achieve your goals but  make yourself the main reason for wanting to go for it. It is for you not for us Maya.”

“Ang galing mo talaga kuya sa inspiring talks mo. Sigurado akong magiging magaling kang magbigay ng homily kapag pari ka na.”

“Naku binola mo pa ako. O sige na I have to go to my room na. May mga aasikasuhin pa ako.”

“Sige Kuya Ricky.”

She resumed studying her lessons when he left.

==========================

Advertisements

Anywhere The Heart Goes – 1

Anywhere The Heart Goes – 1

At the Holy Rosary seminary in San Nicolas, Fr. Santiago Mendoza was assisting the victims of the fire which destroyed the 100  plus houses in barangay del Pilar, a resettlement area in San Nicolas.

Some of the victims were accommodated by the DSWD but some took shelter in the seminary. Aling Teresita dela Rosa works as a cook at the seminary and Father Santi immediately offered her and her family and some other neighbors a temporary shelter at the seminary.

“Maraming salamat po sa pagpapatuloy nyo sa amin dito. Pinapangako ko po, susuklian ko lahat ng kabutihan nyo sa amin.” A tearful Teresita dela Rosa was very thankful to Father Santi.

They lost everything and she was grateful to have saved her daughter Maya and nephew Simon from the fire which also killed three kids in the neighborhood. Good thing that the fire happened before she reported to work for she usually leaves Simon and Maya alone by themselves at their rented room.

“Aling Teresita welcome po kayong lahat dito sa amin. Ang alalahanin nyo na lang po ay ang mga bata. Pinapaayos ko na po kay Manang Fe yun mga bakanteng kwarto sa building A. Tamang tama bakasyon ng mga seminarista natin kaya maraming bakanteng kwarto na maaari nyong gamitin.”

Father Santi was a kindhearted middle-aged priest who’s the Director of Formation at the local seminary.

He was the parish priest before he was tapped to head the seminary because of his charisma, intelligence and people skills. It was when he took charge that the enrollees of the seminary increased and many seemed to appreciate priesthood again.

The parishioners of San Nicolas loved him as he always made them feel important and loved. He doesn’t only talk about the teachings of the church. He actually lives it and many people were inspired to also follow his lead. He was always the first to respond to the needs of the people of San Nicolas.

Today he again showed his selfless love by being the first to show up at the fire site to provide the immediate needs of the victims, be it food, clothes, shelter and words to calm them.

“Maraming salamat po Father Santi.” It was Aling Ibing, a neighbor of Aling Teresita and also a victim of the fire.

“Ambait nyo po talaga Father.” Aling Ginny too was profusely thanking the priest.

“Naku kayo talaga. Ang simbahan ay bukas para sa inyong lahat. Magtulong tulong na lang tayo upang ayusin yun mga kailangan nyo pa. Sasamahan kayo ni Lino.”

Lino was Father Santi’s funny assistant. On their way to the seminary, he made the victims feel good by talking to them and joking around. He always had his way of making things light.

============

As the parents were fixing the few belongings they salvaged from the fire and the supplies given by the dswd and the parish itself in their assigned rooms, the kids stayed in the seminary grounds where the soccer field, basketball court and garden was situated. Father Santi allowed them to play so the kids would at least momentarily forget the trauma they experienced in the fire.

Eight years old Maya and nine years old Simon were playing catch with the small rubber ball owned by Simon at the garden.

When Simon threw the ball at the direction where there are benches and tables under the trees, Maya scrambled to chase the ball and tripped. She turned pale as she saw her knee scarred and starting to bleed. Simon panicked and immediately rushed towards the area where Nanay Teresita was, leaving Maya by herself.

She was already crying when a bespectacled, bedimpled Chinese looking guy in a priest outfit, crouched so he could be eye level with her.

“Hey are you okay? Be careful. Here let me wipe the dirt from your knees.” He retrieved his hankie and gently wiped the little girl’s knee.

Maya just stared at him with her doe-shaped tearful eyes.

He immediately carried the little girl when he realized that her knees were bleeding. He rushed towards the direction of the clinic.

“Stop crying. We will take care of the wound. Gagamutin natin, okay?”

Little Maya just leaned her head on his shoulder as he carried her.

The were met by a very worried Nanay Teresita and Fr. Santi.

“Maya! Napano ka anak? Naku ang likot likot kasi. Pasensya na po Father. Naistorbo ka pa po ng mga bata.” She was addressing the priest carrying Maya.

“Deretso na po tayo dun sa clinic para malapatan ng first aid. Father Santi ako na po bahala dito.” Was the only reply she got from the guy carrying her daughter. He seemed serious, stern and upset thinking that she left the kids by themselves.

Father Santi, Aling Teresita and Simon were all trailing behind.

“Richard I don’t think Nurse Rafi is in the clinic now.” It was Father Santi.

“Ah opo, umalis sya kanina. I’ll take care of it. Madali lang naman to. I just have to clean it so it won’t get infected.”

Maya was comfortably leaning on his shoulder as she now stopped crying. She could see her mom following them.

===================

Father Santi left them at the clinic for he still has to take care of the needs of the fire victims. He’s meeting with some of the volunteers of the parish.

“O hayan, okay na yun sugat. Mamaya lang hindi na yan masakit.” He was now smiling at the little girl who just stared at him the whole time he cleaned and dressed the wound.

“Nanay eto po, lagyan nyo na lang mamaya bago siya matulog.” He gave Aling Teresita antiseptics to be used.

“Maraming salamat po father.”

“Ah hindi pa po ako pari. I’m still a seminarian. I’m Richard Lim po.” He extended his hand to Aling Teresita who gladly accepted it.

“Ah ano po… Ako po si Teresita dela Rosa at eto naman ang anak kong si Maya at ang pinsan nyang si Simon. Maraming salamat po Brother Richard. Yan po ba ang tawag sa inyo?”

“Richard na lang po o kaya Ricky. Palayaw ko po.”

He ruffled Maya’s hair ang gently pinched her chubby cheeks. “Ah Maya pala ang pangalan mo. Masakit pa ba yun sugat?”

She shyly nodded.

“Mamaya hindi na yan masakit? Kaya mong maglakad or you want kuya Ricky to carry you?”

“Pakarga na lang po.” Was her reply.

“Hesusmaryosep wag na po! Ano ka ba naman Maya. Nakakahiya dito kay kuya Ricky mo. Nagbibiro lang po yan. Ako na lang po.”

“It’s okay Aling Teresita. Masakit pa atang ilakad yun paa nya.” Then he carried her again towards the area where the rooms for the fire victims were staying.

================

A/N : The last two chapters of CWSOA and final few chapters of LIAS Prequel and OFD will be posted after this. = )

I still use the same password for LIAS Prequel (the word before my name at this wp site.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Anywhere The Heart Goes

Anywhere The Heart Goes by Henry Mancini is one of my most-loved piano pieces. It is also known as Thorn Bird’s ‘Meggie’s Theme’.

 

Coincidentally, Jose Mari Chan has his own version too. I always think of bcwmh, jochard when i see or hear JMC. It’s just like they also have this great chemistry – the singer JMC and the actors JSM and RY.

So here’s Anywhere The Heart Goes by Jose Mari Chan.